Benjamin  Alpers


I'm a 20th-century U.S. cultural and intellectual historian. I am an Associate Professor at the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. My current major project is on the legacy of Leo Strauss and the Straussians in American public life, but my research and teaching interests also involve film history, public history and memory, and American political culture. In my capacity as Publications Chair of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH), I edit our U.S. Intellectual History blog, for which I've been writing for a few years. As the first Publications Chair of a new professional organization, I'm interested in exploring how the changing technological landscape might create opportunities for organizations like ours to promote new kinds of scholarly publications.

  • Session Proposal: Electronic Publishing and the Practice of History


    We’d like to propose a general discussion session on the present and future of electronic publishing in the historical profession.

    We have all been involved in the creation of a new professional organization, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, which came into being during the summer of 2011.  (We’re so new that we do not even have a website yet, though you can find out about us on the U.S. Intellectual History blog, which is affiliated with S-USIH.)  S-USIH’s two major, existing projects are our blog and our conference, both of which predate the existence of the Society. But one of the reasons that we wanted to form a society is that we are interesting in exploring the possibility of creating some sort of journal. I think we all feel that this will likely be an electronic journal. But this immediately raises a series of questions that we have only begun to explore.

    What forms might an e-journal take?  Does an e-journal differ simply in its method of distribution? Or does its electronic format potentially allow us to promote and distribute different forms of scholarship from those that might appear in a printed journal? How does an e-journal credential itself in our discipline?  How have other e-journals answered these questions?

    Or is the very idea of an e-journal—an electronic version of a form created in a print-bound world—a failure to explore the horizons of electronic publishing and digital scholarship?  Should the publication program of a new professional society in 2012 take an entirely different form?

    In this session, we’d hope to gather those interested in exploring these questions in a more general context.  Among the general questions we’re particularly interested in exploring: What are the new scholarly possibilities opened up by electronic publication?  What are the expenses—in hardware, software, bandwith, etc.—associated with a serious e-publication program? How can some vital technologies associated with traditional scholarly publication—e.g. peer review—be translated to an electronic age?

    Ben Alpers, ude.u1508718304o@sre1508718304plab1508718304
    Lauren Kientz Anderson, moc.l1508718304iamg@1508718304nosre1508718304dnazt1508718304neik.1508718304l1508718304
    Ray Haberski, ude.n1508718304airam1508718304@iksr1508718304ebah1508718304
    Andrew Hartman, ude.u1508718304tsli@1508718304amtra1508718304ha1508718304
    Tim Lacy, moc.l1508718304iamg@1508718304ycal.1508718304n.yht1508718304omit1508718304

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